When picturing southern California, one might imagine sunny beaches, palm trees, and scenic mountain views. There are many activities and sports to enjoy in the moderate year-round temperatures the region is famous for. You might not imagine ice sports enthusiasts abound in this area, but after speaking with Brian Smith, a team member of the Orange County Curling Club (OCCC) and Facility Manager at A-1 Self Storage in La Habra, CA, we decided to find out a bit more about the sport and its presence in southern California.
“Yeah, it surprises people to know we’ve got a club in L.A, the Orange County Curling Club,” said Brian. “There are two here, and also one in San Diego, and one up in San Francisco. There’s quite a lot of curling here in California, you just don’t hear a lot about it.”
We spoke with Nick Wiley, vice president of the OCCC, who filled us in the unique equipment needs the sport requires, most notably, the curling stone.
“Curling stones are the 42 pound rocks that you push down the ice,” said Wiley. “Because they’re so heavy, if they aren’t cold enough, they’ll melt down the ice. If they are between 25-30 degrees they won’t.”
The OCCC recognized that storing the stones in an industrial cooler on location would be crucial so their members can play right away.
“Before we had the cooler, club members had to submerge their stones in ice before playing. Now that we have an industrial grade freezer to store them in, it’s much less of a process now. We just wheel them out from the cooler directly onto the ice. I’m sure someone has tried to store a rock in a freezer at home and rush to the ice before it warms up.”
While lugging around and storing one of these stones would be hassle enough, it takes more than one stone to play the game.
“Curling stones come in sets of 16, which you need to play a game,” Nick explained. “We have five sets of them. When you buy a stone, it’s an expensive purchase, the stones themselves cost about 800 dollars each, so you’ll use them for 5-10 years. They’re made out of granite, and they’re only made in one place in the world, Aisla Craig.”
Having a club like the OCCC where members can take classes, learn the game, and utilize the stones (and the cold storage) the club owns makes the sport possible in sunny California, where snow drifts and ice are rarely found outside of the mountains.
“Our club started in 2010, right before the Vancouver Olympics. We’re at 70 members, and growing. On television it looks easier, and it doesn’t look as far. You’re throwing a 42 pound rock 150 feet.”
While the stones are a major expense and have unique storage needs, the rest of the equipment for curling isn’t nearly as cumbersome.
“Curlers are not on skates, they’re wearing specific rubber soled shoes. You need brooms to do the sweeping, the stones, and of course the lines on the ice need to be painted,” said Wiley.
For any curling enthusiast who is interested in owning their own set of curling stones, a perfect solution would be to keep them at a storage facility like A-1 Self Storage. No one wants to find a place for 16 stones weighing in at 42 pounds each - that’s 672 pounds! While we may not offer the cooler, with the value the stones have, keeping them in a safe, secure location is crucial. A-1 Self Storage offers excellent security, affordable rates, and many locations. If you are looking for a place to store sports equipment of any kind, we have the perfect solution for you!
DISCLAIMER: A-1 Self Storage has a very limited number of climate control units. Out of the dozens of quality facilities we operate in California, only a handful feature this amenity. Please double check with your professional self storage manager to make sure this feature is necessary for your self storage needs.